Seven Shires place at state track event

5 years ago

FARMINGTON, Maine — Seven members of the Houlton Middle-High School track and field team placed at Saturday’s State Class C championships at Mt. Blue High School.

Eli Bulley, left, passes the baton to Will Belyea in the boys 4×400 relay event Saturday in Farmington. (Courtesy of Chris Rines)

“It was an early 5 a.m. departure for us,” Houlton coach Chris Rines said. “I was worried the travel and early departure would hinder some of our performances, but despite all of this, the kids were able to do really well. We had a few students break through the tough competition to claim some podium positions and take home some medals. Also a lot of new personal bests were recorded, and we even saw some new school records set.”

Placing at the state championship were Emma Ardell, seventh in 300-meter hurdles; Makenna Cooley, fourth place in triple jump; Tessa Solomon, fifth place in shot put; and the girls 4×400 relay team of Elena Ardell, Emma Ardell, Isabella Ardell, Samantha Johnson placed second.

As a team, the girls compiled 16 points to finish in 13th place for the team standings.

“No doubt the highlight of the day came at the end of the meet when our girls 4×400 meter relay took to the track,” Rines said. “After a heartbreaking performance for fourth place at the PVC championships our girls were looking to redeem themselves.”

Rines said the team’s baton hand-offs were the main thing the group wanted to improve upon and the Shires did precisely that.

Houlton’s Tessa Solomon heaves the shot put during Saturday’s State Class C track and field championship. (Courtesy of Chris Rines)

“If we could string a perfect relay together, we knew we could be in the mix for a state title,” Rines said. “After three laps, we had led the relay at multiple points. The final handoff came from Elena to Emma and it was a race between Wells and us. Going into the last straightaway, the Wells anchor pulled away from Emma and we finished with the silver medal, our highest place of the day. The girls were all really happy with how they did, and I was pretty proud of them.”

Setting school records on the day were the boys 4×100 relay team of Will Belyea, Eli Bulley, Cameron Callnan and Thomas Astle at 49.0 seconds; Elena Ardell in the 800m (2:37.0); Emma Ardell in the 100 hurdles (17.73) and 300 hurdles (52.05); Cooley in the triple jump (31-feet, 9.5 inches); Solomon in the shot put (29-3).

Full girls results can be found at:

The full boys results can be found at: